The Sixth Sense: Do Extra-Sensory Abilities Really Exist?

What is ESP?

ESP or extrasensory perception sounds like the stuff of science fiction, but if you have ever had a relatively accurate premonition of a future event or dreamed something that later came to pass, you have experienced what is referred to as ESP by believers, and it’s much more common than you probably think.

There is no doubt, therefore, that what believers define as ESP does indeed actually exist; the debate around ESP is instead a debate on what ESP actually is: a truly extrasensory perception (a “sixth sense”) that cannot be explained by science as we know it (and is instead explained by parapsychology), or a random occurrence that can in fact be explained by conventional science.

But, before launching into the debate, it’s best to define what is covered by the umbrella term of ESP (first coined in 1934 by Duke University professor J.B. Rhine); generally, extrasensory perception is thought to include the following hypothetical abilities:

  • Telepathy (thought reading)
  • Clairvoyance (seeing events currently happening elsewhere)
  • Precognition (seeing future events)
  • Retrocognition (seeing past events)
  • Mediumship (communicating with and channeling the spirits of the dead)
  • Psychometry (the ability to gather information just by touching an object)

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